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A Dead Heat Into The First Turn

Saturday, September 20, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Rasmussen has it 48%-47%, Obama over McCain as we enter into the week of the first debate. Michael Barone notes that the focus on the economy is not working in the way conventional wisdom would have predicted in that it isn’t fueling an Obama surge. (HT: Robinson&

This shouldn’t surprise. It has been a week o crisis management, and Obama still hasn’t figured out what he thinks about the AIG deal which was Tuesday’s issue. The Obama-in-the-headlightsreplay of the days following the Russian invasion of Georgia is reminding the electorate that the job requires decisiveness which depends in part on experience. As Obama doesn’t have the latter, it isn’t surprising he can’t display the former. This is an unsettling exposure of the Democratic nominee. That his choice for vice president has been out cheerleading the payment of higher taxes as an exercise in patriotism doesn’t help much either. Did Joe Biden never study the roots of the American revolution?

Sarah Palin continues to energize the base as John Hinderaker’s report of a Minnesota rally reflects. The Palin effect is an amazing phenomenon of 2008, and is still barely appreciated by the MSM which cannot seem to understand the enormous appeal of the Alaska governor. The dead-heat nationally means nothing if the electoral college is trending one way or the other, and right now the map from looks very much like the map of 2004:

This has to encourage McCain-Palin, as the final few weeks will be mostly closely contested in states where Palin has great appeal: Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Each of these sattes have swing populations of independants who are suburban and rural, and the Palin pukk in these places is huge.

The financial crisis did not supercharge Obama’s campaign, and every story that underscores the need for a steady hand in the White House will work against the Chicago machine pol who couldn’t even run the Annenberg Challenge. Heading into the first debate, Team McCain has to be very, very pleased.

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